Shame and Exceptionalism: Livy’s Subversive History for Liberty
Livy asserts that shamelessness led to decadence which, in turn, led to greed and eventually devolved into demagoguery and tyranny. His assertion that Roman liberty and equality were destroyed by the decadence of the civil wars and buried with the emergence of the Augustan regime had far reaching influence.
Forget Red vs. Blue, America is Cactus vs. Philodendron
Is there a direct causal connection between America’s embrace of succulents and semi-succulents as houseplants-of-choice and the conspicuous mass movement of Americans to states with the least amount of rainfall? Maybe not, but the correlation gives us strong cause to consider.
Dobbs v. Roe: See How They Love One Another
There will be a temptation for many to say: “Good. Roe is gone. Now the rest is none of my business.” It would be wise to remember this disinterest in our communities is what enabled a technocratic judiciary to impose Roe. To perfect our nation and its communities, we must balance the needs of living amongst one another with caring for one another.
Dr. Rigby’s Ugly Cry
For all the enhanced resolution of our universe Webb brings, for all the material analysis this new device supplies to scientists’ burgeoning cosmic databases, informing the denizens of Earth just what the universe is made of, NASA is not one whit closer to explaining what the universe actually is.
Hot Mediums, Hot Tempers
Life is inherently unpredictable and requires engagement without certainty of outcome. It also often requires patience. No matter how many labor-saving and time-bending devices we create, we will never exist in a completely predictable and easy environment. “Convenience” ceases to be convenient when it is sapping us of the courage we need to encounter everyday life.
No one even tried to keep me. The dead, not an argumentative sort to begin with, never had the chance. The living, God bless them, had been so thoroughly tutored by modern life that they could, in the same breath, say how wonderful was my “great opportunity” to go and how sad they would be that I couldn’t stay.
Another Option for Christian Politics
With simple elements of bread and wine, the church, then and now, celebrates the memory of Christ’s death by partaking of the sacrament of his body and blood. Ignatius wants to share in the suffering and thereby the glory of his Lord. He knows there are worse things than death - above all, a failure to follow Christ, even to the cross.
On College, Careers, and Aspirations for Home
These modern forms threaten the desire for familial and communal life—an aspiration traditionally associated with conservatism, especially the conservatism inherited from Aristotle, Cicero, and Burke. The spirit of the careerist and the influencer counter this classically “conservative” spirit that aspires towards an actual family and community with all the duties each entail.
Renunciation and Re-enchantment
We live in a society where lust, greed, gluttony, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride have been commercialized. When the self and its desires are everywhere celebrated, to contain the self is a form of revolt. There begins the path. There begins the search for the eternal things. The first step is to rediscover renunciation. “What does it mean?” Kingsnorth asks, “and how do you do it?” These questions are not glitzy; they are not click-bait.
Faithful Lives in Faithless Times
To the tomb, all life hastens. But while death is ineluctable, the growing good of the world is not. There is an intrinsic vulnerability to civilization (and parenthood), in large part because the beings who comprise it have the capacity both to sustain and destroy it; to be “the best of the animals when completed” and “the most unholy and … savage” when divorced from virtue.